First of all, let me tell you how anxious I was to recieve this bass: I was checking UPS tracking EVERY hour or so to make sure it didn't stop. Knowing I'm already a grand in debt when I really don't need nor want to be, I dropped my Capital One card down on my desk and started typing digits. I placed the order telling myself that I can flip it for a profit if I don't like it, so it was harmless. I even toyed with the idea of buying a BB404, BB404F and a BB405 for the prices, but opted for just the fretless. I've got a phenominal four string in my Fender P and haven't used a five in years, so that could wait. I'll hold out for a Roscoe Beck V thank you. Well, the bass arrived about twenty minutes ago, I popped open the shipping container and was somewhat bummed to see it in the corner, only surrounded by packaging on two sides. Considering UPS is kinda rough around here, the package had a few considerable dents (thankfully on the far side from the bass) and I pulled out wads and wads of packing paper. In the bottom of the box is this tiny little triangular shaped box reading Yamaha, so I reach in and grab that little yellow strap. I lay the box on the floor, and smiled. Ran downstairs to grab the camera to take pictures for all of you guys, nearly broke my toe coming up frantically to try out the bass. The bass was neatly packaged, though it was the first time I'd ever opened the top of a box to see the bass laying face down wrapped in foam. I pulled it out, frantically ripped off the strings' anti-tarnish paper and it was considerably in tune. After fine tuning, I proceded to try some things out and noticed but one thing...incredible warmth and plenty of mwah. Considering the roundwounds, I was a bit skeptical to continue playing, but after fifteen minutes of playing, there was no noticable wear. I'm safe for now. On a bass that I paid $200 for, I expected cheap hardware, but was none but impressed. The quality of the no-name tuners was top notch as nothing rattled. The bridge was high mass, and considerably well built. Then there were the knobs, which looked a bit cheesy to me. Like Gibson speed knobs gone wrong, but much to my surprise, the knobs were very comfortable, and the pots were smooth, but not loose. Just the way I like them. I continued to flip the bass over, pull off the control cover, and was pleased to find a somewhat neat wiring job, with some excess wire, but not too much, but no shielding. It didn't matter, the bass was very quiet, and with the bridge soloed, hum was minimal. After rolling off the treble, the bridge pickup soloed, the beast was quiet but well spoken. With a hint of chorus, I felt I got a fairly quick and easy Jaco-esque sound with stock strings and pickups. As far as build quality, I haven't noticed a flaw yet. The neck is nice and chunky, and arrived straight. If anything I feared the neck would be thin and feel flimsy, but it turns out to be a wonderful match for my baseball bat vintage P-bass, though a bit narrower. The neck finish is minimal (think Ernie Ball Stingray) and smooth. The fingerboard edges were all the way to the end of the 24th fret, which is easilly accessible by the lower horn's deepset cutout. The neck pocket was tight and didn't budge at all. Although the stock action was a tad high for my taste, the only immediate replacement the bass needed was a set of straplocks (which in my house means it's a keeper) and at a tad bit over eight pounds, a thin Ernie Ball nylon strap is plenty to keep this sucker on my shoulder pain free. The bass is quite well balanced and offers no immediate flaws. The sound is great, the feel is supreme, and the bass in all leaves nothing to be desired. I would've bought this whether or not it was on clearance for $199 or regularly priced at $449. It's a very nice bass.